Antonio stood at the door, a clipboard in his hand. “Would you like to buy a wreath from Boy Scouts?”
The man holding the door abruptly stepped outside and side-stepped around Antonio.
“Ssssh. Quiet. Stay still.” He crouched into a linebacker pose.
I watched from where I stood a few feet away.
The man was advancing slowly forward. He looked as if he was going to make a move.
I glanced to the side of his house. Suddenly, I understood. “That’s our cat,” I said.
“Really?” His body taut, still ready to pounce. He clearly didn’t believe me.
“Yes. He’s on a walk with us.”
“Really?” He wasn’t yet ready to give up snaring the cat.
“Yes. We live a few blocks over.”
Resigned, he stood up straight. “Someone said they were missing a cat that looks just like that.”
“No, that’s our cat,” I repeated.
Antonio came down the steps and turned to walk towards the next house. “Here, Silver. Here, boy.”
I caught up to him.
“Did you see that?” Antonio whispered. “He was going to take our cat.”
“Yeah, I did.” I looked at Silver a few respectful paces away. I studied him. “He looks homeless,” I said. “He doesn’t have a collar.”
Jody, Antonio, Crystel, and I are responsible cat owners. We take our cats in for their checkups. They have all their shots. They are also outdoor cats. We put collars on them when they were kittens. That didn’t go so well.
For the past six months Silver and/or Oreo have gone on walks with us. I first noticed it on a May morning when I was walking the dogs. Silver followed us up Morgan Avenue, down 73rd, all around Donaldson Park and back down 73rd and then Morgan Avenue to our home.
What to do? I gave him a treat just like I gave the dogs.
One of Antonio and Crystel’s chores this summer was to walk the dogs each day. More often than not, Silver and Oreo – his sister, accompanied them.
Sometimes, cars will stop and ask us if that’s our cat(s) following us. “Yes, we’re on a walk,” we’ll reply.
Adults with children will stop to pet the cats and/or dogs.
But, until now, we weren’t worried about the cats appearing to be homeless.
Antonio and I continued knocking on doors. The further we went from our street the more Silver meowed. I understood. We were going further and further from his territory. His territory was east of Morgan not west where we were.This was confirmed when a woman said, “I haven’t seen that cat around here before.”
“No, that’s our cat. He’s on a walk with us,” I replied.
“That explains it,” she said.
I can’t say that we sold more wreaths by having Silver with us.
The next day all three outdoor cats had collars on whether they wanted them or not.
They’re our cats. They have a home.